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Poster: George Peter Gatsis Date: Oct 26, 2007 3:53pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: How does one know it is public?

How do you know something is in the public domain? Where is the proof?
(and I don't mean proof by deductive reasoning... that is how most are making their claims/statements)

Very interested to know.

And since ARCHIVE.ORG is for public domain content... is there or will there be a public domain comic book section?

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Poster: jonc Date: Oct 29, 2007 2:11pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: How does one know it is public?

It's not a science. You can check the US Copyright Catalog online for films registered since 1978. Earlier than that you must visit the Library of Congress in person or pay them a fee. There is a useful list on Wikipedia but it hasn't been updated in a while and there have been changes. Ultimately the best sources are these forums.

http://www.copyright.gov/records/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Public_domain_films

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Poster: George Peter Gatsis Date: Oct 30, 2007 8:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: How does one know it is public?

That's just it...

People say "SOME-MOVIE" is in the public domain... why not provide the proof? A scan of the records that prove it or something such?

Imagine someone takes you to court cause you violated a copyright... and your only defense is, "Well, the so-and-so-forum said it was in the public domain."

Not much of a defence... and wiki is not an un-questionable source of reliable information either...

I love the content put on ARCHIVE... but the question always comes to mind... where is the proof?

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Poster: PaJoe Date: Nov 2, 2007 5:44pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: How does one know it is public?

*******begin quote******
That's just it...

People say "SOME-MOVIE" is in the public domain... why not provide the proof? A scan of the records that prove it or something such?

Imagine someone takes you to court cause you violated a copyright... and your only defense is, "Well, the so-and-so-forum said it was in the public domain."

Not much of a defence... and wiki is not an un-questionable source of reliable information either...

I love the content put on ARCHIVE... but the question always comes to mind... where is the proof?"

*******end quote*****

There is always the chance that someone could face a lawsuit, and "public domain" claim could be challenged. However,for the most part, the majority of films listed here as "public domain" are pretty well worthless in the sense that someone will claim financial damages because people downloaded it thinking it was "public domain". In all probability the worst consequence is the internet archive may get is a letter asking them to remove a particular movie in question. Likewise, there probably are many movies that are still protected under copyright where the copyright owners really don't care because they no longer consider the item a source of income.

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Poster: jonc Date: Oct 30, 2007 1:36pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: How does one know it is public?

What records are you referring to? Other than what's mentioned above, there is no online resource for this purpose. If you want to take the meticulous task of scanning the Copyright catalog in Washington and developing a database from that, you can have at it. You would also have to read up on US copyright law. It would be entirely voluntary unless IA or maybe IMDB would sponsor you. It would be appreciated though :)

Note that this would only cover US films; foreign movies are under different jurisdiction.

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Poster: A/V Geek Skip Date: Oct 31, 2007 6:55am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: How does one know it is public?

The problem with this request is that it is the lack of documentation that often makes a film public domain.

For example,

A film copyrighted before 1964 would have to have its copyright renewed to still be under copyright. If there is no renewal on file at the Library of Congress, then the film is public domain.

The Library of Congress only keeps records of copyrights not the lack of them.


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